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Breed Grooming Advice at Kenilworth Dog Grooming in Kenilworth, Warwickshire


We intend to publish some tips and advice to keep all our doggy friends in the best condition between grooming appointments, Watch this space!

Coming soon...
Labrador, Bichon Frise, Short Haired Terriers.

In the meantime, as we see more and more long haired mixed breed doggies, a little advice from another (not me, but very good advice) experienced groomer who owns a long haired woolly coated doggy herself! So with the permission of a very kind Cockapoo owning groomer at Short Bark and Sides Dog Grooming, Great Glen, Leicestershire here is an excellent article:

An article on mixed breeds

Foreword: I do realise that a visit to a groomer may be a little traumatic to owners of cross breeds, be they poodle, bichon, labrador, retriever, bedlington and many other wooly or long coated crosses. And that despite the best efforts and attention of many owners coats do become matted or hard to manage. And that sometimes breeders advise not to have them groomed until they are X months old.......or have shed their puppy coat or be clipped at all.....This is certainly not the best advice for any dog needing regular grooming. How unkind to your dog to expect him or her to have a first visit to a groomer when he or she is matted, probably very uncomfortable with their tight coat and will need a long visit, with all sorts of activities they are not used to! A bit traumatic for the owner, who doesn't really know what to expect, and might get a very different looking dog back! And often very hard for the groomer, who frequently has to resort to cutting mats just over the skin, often frighteningly close, on a dog who could look great if the were used to coming and could be groomed out and styled.

An Owners Guide...

I could also have had the heading Goldendoodle grooming, cavachon grooming etc as this guide will be for all of the poodle and Bichon crosses, I chose Cockapoo's as they seem to be the most common of the purpose bred crosses at the moment and I know a lot of groomers are seeing them in a matted state and needing to be clipped off - This guide will hopefully educate owners on how to maintain the coat so that it doesn't come to that stage.

Before I start I shall say that I own a Cockapoo myself so this is not an anti-crossbreed rant!

First Cockapoo's have a high maintenance coat. A good breeder should explain that to you, and don't let a anyone tell you otherwise, there are very few that end up with an easier coat - and you probably don't have one!

The Puppy coat is relatively easy to look after; the pictures you see of cute shaggy coated dogs are most likely puppies. But even with an easy coat it is still important to get your puppy used to grooming from a very early age. One of the kindest things you can do for your new pup is to find a groomer early and take your puppy for a socialisation visit, a grooming salon can be a scary place for an older dog that has never been in that environment, but a puppy should take it in their stride if taken early.

A visit to a groomer does not have to mean a short cut! (or even a cut at all). Sadly I know a lot of Cockapoo owners hear stories of others that have gone and had all the coat off so they avoid going until the dog is older and too matted to have the coat saved - it gets clipped off and so the circle continues.

If you want to keep your dog's coat longer the best thing you can do is visit a groomer, I would suggest an early socialisation visit, then a visit for a bath and brush and maybe tidy the ends of the coat if you want, then 6-8 weekly visits through puppyhood, these visits could be for just a bath and brush if you want to keep the puppy coat longer - usually people will opt for a slight haircut, gradually taking the coat a bit shorter on each visit as once the adult coat starts coming in (usually around 8-10 months but can be earlier or later) the coat thickens and becomes harder to maintain. In fact it maybe a good idea to visit your groomer even more frequently during this time. The adult Cockapoo coat is generally best cut shorter - how short will depend on the type of coat and the time spent on home grooming.

Home grooming is a must, even if you do visit a groomer regularly. Get your puppy used to being brushed from an early age, don't make it playtime for them, be gentle but firm - if you have a table or higher surface you can put them on it can help (yoga mats make a good non slip surface). Use treats if it helps. Timing is important when giving treats or saying 'good boy/girl', don't say it whilst they are chewing the brush hoping it will make them behave! Say it if they stand still for you or allow you to pick a foot up without making a fuss.

As the Cockapoo coat grows it is important to use the right grooming equipment, a good slicker and a metal comb are a must have. The best one's will probably be from a grooming supply company, from which you can order on-line. Your dog will need to be groomed ALL over, pay attention to all areas. Everywhere needs to be brushed and then checked by the comb, it is common for owners to brush all over but miss a lot of the matts that are very close to the skin because they are not going over with a comb as well. It is better for the coat if you give it a spritz with a dematt or conditioning spray or even just water rather than dry brushing. Areas that seem to be the most common for finding matts that the owners have missed seem to be the back of the ear/collar area, top of feet, down the back of the back legs and the tail the tail needs to be groomed right to the roots of the hair, i have seen long flowing tails that sadly have to have all the hair off because it is matted solid along the tail bone. Also if your dog wears a head collar or harness they are likely to start matting in the areas that these rub. Muzzles need to be groomed too.

Some owners question if the dog has to be clipped SO short if matted, well the clippers can only go through the coat when it is clean and matt free - then a length can be chosen, but when clipping off a matted coat the clippers have to get under the matts so the length will depend on how tight and close to the skin the matts are.

Just remember if your dog has to be clipped short - it will grow back! But try to ensure that it grows back matt free.